As one dream dies, another lives on. The Wall Street Journal broke the news last night that Bernie Sanders will not be considered as VP for presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, according to Clinton insiders who spoke to the publication. However, Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren is still very much a part of the Democratic dream team.
There are a couple of distinguishing factors here. First, despite the many jokes and think pieces, I still find it hard to believe that too many people really ever wanted Sanders as Clinton’s running mate. I find it still harder to believe that even if Clinton asked, Sanders would accept — which you kind of have to assume Clinton would be aware of, and which makes the whole thing kind of moot.
Moreover, I believe that Sanders belongs in the Senate, where progressives badly need him. And not that I think Sanders worries too much about losing face with his fans, but it does seem unlikely that some of his Hillary-hating supporters would ever forgive him accepting a position at her right hand. It would simply be interpreted as selling out, becoming her lackey or something.
Warren’s VP potential, though, is a shiny apple to Sanders’ orange. To begin with, it feels like people actually want her on the ticket. And though the America-won’t-vote-for-two-women argument is still in the mix, it’s been interesting to watch it seemingly decrease in prominence. The narrative that seems to be surpassing it is that Warren, being more progressive than the famously hawkish and centrist Clinton, would bring in a lot of the voters who pulled so strongly for Sanders. And Clinton needs that badly, lest they run off to Trump.
A Bloomberg poll from Wednesday showed Warren as the popular favorite for the Democratic VP slot. More than a third of prospective Clinton voters want her on the ticket. (Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich took the top spot among hypothetical Trump VPs, which ... OK.) Now that Warren has finally endorsed Clinton, this potential duo is becoming an increasingly real prospective. Sure, there was the concern of Clinton tapping a senator from a state with a Republican governor, which would mean that governor would almost certainly appoint a Republican replacement and make things harder for the Democrats in the Senate. However, Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid, who once voiced concerns about this possibility, is reportedly reviewing ways to work around this issue and warming up to the idea of a Clinton-Warren run.
I still don’t quite believe that Clinton will pull the trigger on a two-woman ticket. It feels too risky in an election cycle in which the consequence of losing would be a President Trump. But I want to believe. I really do. And if the polls keep showing us that Warren is the running mate whom Democrats want most — not the most popular female choice, not the most popular leftist choice, but simply the most popular choice, full stop — then why not?
Image: Bustle/Caroline Wurtzel